Linking up to Modern Mrs. Darcy for her monthly QuickLit post, where we share “short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately”. I’ll share everything I’ve read over the previous month here at the end of each month, in the order I finished reading them. I read 12 books in August, including 2 chapter-book-read-alouds with my kiddos, both by Roald Dahl, the master of children’s fiction in my book! This month was a bit slow for me also (I know, lots of excuses lately) because I LEFT MY KINDLE ON AN AIRPLANE! Although Delta assures me they’ve been “looking for it diligently”, it has officially been 3 weeks since we got home and they haven’t located it yet, so I’m ready to hold a small service in memoriam. Thanks to my mama for providing me with her Kindle Paperwhite, which sat unused on her desk for three years. Glad to say it’s already been used more in the past five days than in all those years combined. Happiness all around.
Here’s the quick recap of what I read this month. Skim until you see something that piques your interest!
Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica
I have really enjoyed Mary Kubica’s writing in the past. Enough to interview her for this website! With that in mind, I had high hopes for this one as well, but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. It seemed almost dumbed down for the reader, repetitive and slow and somewhat predictable. I just didn’t love it, even though I expected to. Sorry to not be willing to rate this higher. I had a friend that said it felt like she was just churning these out as quickly as possible because of the success of her first one, and that feels about right.
Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl
Definitely not on RD’s list of greatest hits, this book basically centers around two adventures for Charlie and crew: going to space and then messing with the ages of his grandparents. I felt it wasn’t really enough to build a story on. My kiddo did enjoy it, but not so much that he was begging to read it, which is why it took more than two months to read this slim volume aloud.
GraceLaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart by Ruth Chou Simons
RELEASES TODAY! This book is just stunning in every way. It contains 32 devotions that are so manageable and easy to read, but encourage a depth of faith in just 2 pages a day. The paintings, photos, and lettering make this book feel like an experience more than just something to read. It is akin to walking through an art gallery while meditating and praying. I will give this book as a gift in the future, of that I am sure. So happy to be part of the #gracelacedbook launch team. I did receive a copy for review from the publisher, but have since ordered additional copies to give away. It is definitely worth your pennies to own the paper copy of this one!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I had a hard time deciding between 4 and 5 stars for this one, it’s SO good. Maas continues her story of Feyre and Hamlin and Rhys (OMG, all the heart eyes) in a dark, twisty, sensual, epic way. It’s so readable and just so good. These 625 pages just flew by. I probably would have finished this in 3 days instead of 10, but I was on family vacation and then, oh the humanity, LEFT MY KINDLE ON THE PLANE!! So sad there is a waitlist for the next one in this series! (Which I just got my hands on yesterday, so expect that review in September’s QuickLit!)
Being Mortal: On Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
This phenomenal book draws on many years of medical experience and interviews with experts in the field to fully inform the reader about elder care, the history of death and dying in our country, and end of life decisions regarding health, death, and what life is left to be lived. it takes a realistic look at the medical system in order to give us a broader picture at what COULD be and the ways we can make the right decisions at the end of our (and our loved ones) lives, instead of the decisions that just pursue not dying at all costs. Highly highly HIGHLY recommended to everyone, ever. especially those in the medical field. I feel like this book should count as a continuing education course in itself.
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
So fun and sweet and easy to listen to. I loved getting to meet Rishi and Dimple and delve deeper into the Indian culture that nurtures him and pushes her. This nerdy couple is just what I hoped for and I found myself all kinds of wrapped up in this story by the end! I’d give it 5 stars, but this isn’t a beautiful, life-changing amazing book, just a fun one.
Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau
This book is just the kick in the pants you need to get your side hustle started! This 27-day program mirrors Chris’ podcast (Side Hustle School) in a few ways as it introduces you to stories about side hustlers as how they got started. But it also breaks down the process into very concrete and small, manageable daily steps, starting from the very first one: figure out why you want a side hustle. Without a clear goal in mind, what’s going to keep you going? If you’ve thought of a side hustle as a way to earn extra income (I have), and want someone to take your hand and lead you through the process, this is a GREAT book. This book was certainly enough for me to launch my OWN Side Hustle, which you can check out here!
*I received a complimentary advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review* #sidehustlebook
The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Well, this was certainly fun! If the pacing was a bit off, it was mostly made up for by the fact that the British royal family is the perfect subject for fun, fluffy ridiculous fiction, and I essentially enjoyed every minute of it. Since I finished this book in the middle of the month, I had two friends write to me to ask for a light-hearted read, and this book was at the top of my list for recommendations!
Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic Screen-Time by Victoria L. Dunckley, MD
I think this book could be condensed quite a bit and be just as, if not more, helpful because it wouldn’t be so daunting. there is so much great research in here and helpful case study examples, but I found myself skipping and skimming so I could get to the sections that were more practical. To that end, I did find it immensely practical and put SO many post it notes on the side of my library book to mark passages. I will be trying my own reset (For myself and my children, and probably my husband 😮), and then recommending this to everyone I know. If you’re interested in just the nuts and bolts of the program, you can check out the companion website here.
A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
I thought this book was… fine. It certainly wasn’t what I expected it to be about, which is fine. It just seemed a bit forced, and maybe disjointed, to me. We’re following the stories of Brette and Annaliese and Simone and an unnamed ghost character? And of course they end up coming together, but it just seemed kind of weird and ridiculous. Still, a quick read and I wouldn’t recommend AGAINST it. so, 3 stars it is.
The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson
“The idea of Donald Trump and Alex Jones and Roger Stone and Stephen Bannon having power over us — that is terrifying.”
Well, terrified we are…
I picked this up because I really enjoyed Jon Ronson’s work about the internet and public shaming (So You’ve Been Publically Shamed). It’s just a little 48-page account of his friendship with Alex Jones and his experiences at the Republican National Convention. But, without the benefit of the hindsight we now have: that Trump does win the election. Mostly, it was just terrifying in the worst way. Like, all your nightmares from this book come true and that’s the world you wake up in the next morning.
I read this book for free on Prime Reading. I feel like I need to delve deeper into that collection to see what else I can find!
The Twits by Roald Dahl
This wretched couple exactly embodies the humor of Roald Dahl to a T. So funny. My kids and I were both laughing through this whole book. BUUUUUUT, I did keep hoping I wasn’t giving these brothers any ideas as to how to be mean to each other!